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RADAR ALERT:
RADAR Blows the Whistle on Super Bowl DV Myth

On January 28, 1993, domestic violence advocates threw the long bomb, which in turn set up the winning touchdown.

The long bomb, of course, was the infamous press conference, held three days before the Super Bowl, which claimed that domestic violence increased 40% after men watched professional football games. And the winning touchdown was passage of the first Violence Against Women Act in 1994.

In her book Who Stole Feminism? , Christina Hoff Sommers revealed that the 40% claim was a complete hoax. But that hasn't stopped DV advocates from spreading the myth. RADAR believes it's time to blow the whistle on the Super Bowl myth. So we've developed a blitz strategy, to sack the quarterback before they can lob another long bomb!

Here's the Game Plan:

  1. Publication of an OpEd column, "Superbowl Myth has More Lives than a Cat." This column will be distributed to multiple internet sites and newspapers on Wednesday, February 2. Do a Google search on Friday, and you can see where it's been published!
  2. Press Release to be posted on PR Web, which will be seen by thousands of reporters and editors.
  3. Press Release to be e-mailed to your local newspaper. But this is essential - we need to get this Press Release in the hands of your local reporter before they write an article that repeats the old myths - in other words, sometime this week .

And this is where you come in.

The RADAR Press Release is attached at the end of this Alert. We are asking that you take 5 minutes out of your busy schedule to e-mail the Press Release to your local newspaper. This is all you need to do:

  1. Get the e-mail address:
    1. Call the news desk at the local newspaper (or other news outlet).
    2. Tell them you'd like to know the name of the reporter who does their stories about domestic violence and family issues. Ask for the e-mail address where you can direct a Press Release to that reporter's attention.
    3. If they tell you that there's just one email address for all Press Releases, that's OK. Just take that down.
    4. If they say they prefer to receive the Press Release by fax, no problem, just take down the fax number instead.
  2. Send them the Press Release by doing the following:
    1. Select all the text in the Press Release at the bottom of this page .
    2. Copy and paste that text into the body of your email.
    3. Type the news organization's e-mail address into your mail program.
    4. Type "PRESS RELEASE: Super Bowl Looms, The Hoax Lives On" in the subject line.
    5. Click send.
    6. If you are faxing the Press Release, simply cut and paste the Release into a separate Word document, print it out, and fax it.

If they e-mail you back with a question, have them contact Trudy Schuett, who can set up an interview. And when they run a story based on our Press Release, be sure to e-mail it to RADAR at , so we can feature it on the RADAR website.

Remember, the whole idea is to get our Press Release out first , before they can throw another long bomb!

That's it. Easy, wasn't it? Thanks for your help! And enjoy the Super Bowl.


 

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Trudy Schuett
928-726-6200

Super Bowl Looms, The Hoax Lives On

Mark Twain once observed, "One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives."

Sheila Kuehl and representatives of an organization, which calls itself Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, must surely have had this in mind when they held a press conference in advance of the 1993 Super Bowl to announce that Super Bowl Sunday is "the biggest day of the year for violence against women." They claimed that domestic violence increases by 40%. Ms. Kuehl, now a Calif. State Senator, was then an attorney for the California Women's Law Center.

Playing upon the stereotype that men in general and football fans in particular are brutes, these claims were instantly accepted and reported as fact by the media. Ken Ringle of the Washington Post was one of the few reporters to bother to check the claims before accepting them as factual. His article entitled " Debunking the 'Day of Dread' for Women " was published a mere three days after the press conference.

Although the claims were quickly shown to be baseless, those who manufactured this factoid had achieved their goals. F.A.I.R. acknowledges on its own website that the real goal was to get the NFL to provide $500,000 of free advertising.

Even the Family Violence Prevention Fund acknowledges that no rigorous national studies have confirmed a link between sports broadcasts and domestic violence.

Nevertheless, every year many of those in a position to know better keep this falsehood alive. For example, last January, a full decade after the Super Bowl Hoax was debunked, the California Assembly's Select Committee on Domestic Violence issued a press release repeating virtually all of the original claims.

It is time this harmful notion is laid to rest. It is harmful because families affected by domestic violence need the best data possible; not marketing hype designed for shock value.

This year, RADAR suggests that all media, both traditional and online, use the power of their medium to provide their readers/viewers/listeners with facts, not fiction. It is a unique opportunity for media throughout the US to show their communities they care, and to reclaim their places as valued and trusted providers of news and solid information.

# # #

Online references:

http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/superbowl.asp

http://www.fair.org/extra/9304/superbowl.html

http://endabuse.org/programs/display.php3?DocID=262

http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a24/press04/p242004004.htm


Date of RADAR Release: January 30, 2005

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R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://www.mediaradar.org